"And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. 9 She said to her husband, "I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10 Let's make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us."
(2 Kings 4:8)I noticed 3 things here,
(1) Recognising- This woman would have probably heard of Elisha and then has started observing him and understood that Elisha was a man of God, and so she tells her husband "I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God". In order for us to know who God is, we've got to watch Him, His work (be it in our lives or in the lives of people around us). Like this woman, I recall Zacchaeus, "He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd." (Luke 19:3) He too would have heard about Jesus and now wanted to know who He is. Later on for both these people who wanted to know God better, we'll see they were blessed in whatever they needed, even without asking. Many times we see God's work and fail to recognise it, but the moment we do recognise our Lord's work in our lives, we must get ready cause we will now get to know our Lord.
(2) Dining-Another thing in knowing our Lord is to dine with him. The woman in Shunem, wanted Elisha to dine with them and so she urged him to come. In other words this woman invited Elisha to her house for a meal. It so went on, that later we read "So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat" v4. Now this tells me something wonderful, this dining was not a once in a while affair, the dining had become regular. So, as many times Elisha went to Shunem, he was dining at her house. As we open our hearts to understand our Lord, through His Word, soon we will be dining together, you know dining with the Lord means. "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. John 4:33-35. So when we dine with our God, we're actually learning to do the work of God, learning to do what God had planned for us to do. In singing, in praying, in teaching, in pastoring, in leading a company, in being a sportsperson...we'll be doing the will of God for us.
(3) Dwelling-Soon the woman suggested to her husband "10 Let's make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us." This woman, though well-to-do did have something lacking in her life, she knew the only one who could change her life-the power of Living God. Though she did not do all this just to get that blessing, there was that lack in her life nonetheless. She did not have any children. The woman must have been so blessed in the fellowship with Elisha (on whom the Spirit of God rested) that she longed to know more of God through him. She built him a room above their house so he could stay. Soon Elisha was staying at their house every time he came.
Whats the lesson for us in this?
In reading the above episode, I was reminded of what Jesus said in Revelations "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."(Revelation 3:19-21).
The most important lesson I learnt is that, once we've recognised our Lord, we've taken our first step to know Him. Then in dining with the Lord, it is a regular meeting at a specific time. Dining though is not a continuous affair, it happens only when we are hungry.
Then we move on to dwelling, the most important stage of our relationship with our Lord. When someone stays with us, we get to know that person better. We watch the person all the time, we see the behaviour of the person. The longer they stay, the more the relationship grows. The longer they stay, the more we get to know about them day by day. We get acquainted with their habits. After some time we may even be able to say "Oh , I know that person, he/she likes such and such flower, their favourite colour is blue, they like food presented in this manner, they love this kind of music, they're aim in life is to become so and so, they love this, they hate that...and a whole lot more etc." These are some things we may not be able to learn about a person in occasional meetings. Also when we start staying with a person, who might usually have appeared as cheerful, may have something that troubles them deep within, we slowly get to know their hurts, their joys, their sorrows, their struggles...Thats what happened with this woman. God made sure that Elisha came to know what that woman needed. " v14 "What can be done for her?" Elisha asked. Gehazi said, "Well, she has no son and her husband is old." Elisha later prayed to God and the woman had a baby the same time next year.
The more our God dwells with us, i.e the more we invite our Lord to dwell with us, God looks into our lives and changes us little by little that we may know Him a little more and that we may be blessed. Our lives start changing from the inside, all emptiness in our lives will be filled, because we invited our Lord to come stay with us, to be with us, to stay as a family member. We all are children of God, estranged by sin, yet God wants us to recognise Him, our Daddy, His fingerprint is on us, He longs to have fellowship with us. That was the main purpose, He made us. He is the only one who can complete us. Thats what God would love His children to do, recognise Him, invite Him to dine and invite Him to dwell with them. He's a Gentleman, He won't just come, until You invite Him, though He is your Heavenly Father. God longs for His children to be happy to have Him around, happy to let Him be Dad of their lives, happy to take God's help and become, that which He created us to be.It is God's desire, like any parent to have their children close to Him, to dwell with Him. When Jesus spoke to Zaccheus, He said "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today."Luke 19:4-6 And Zaccheus "6 hurried and came down, and he received and welcomed Him joyfully." In this Zaccheus was blessed. He gave up all his possessions, all wealth he had acquired through wrong means. Zaccheus had been trying to fill up His life with money, but now He had found someone Who could bless him and fill him all in all.
Dear friends, on our Living Lord can fill us in the manner like no one else, for He knows our needs, He knows what we lack and only He is able to complete us. Our lives can never find satisfaction in money, wealth, fame, lust or anything else we've been trying to fill it with. Only Jesus can fill us completely.
14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom his whole family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.